BK: Yes I remember the monk. Also saw a 'purple man', a postman who seemed to be running so effortlessly and playing with the crowd (git) and a . Any of those sound familiar. We must have been near each other though for sure, our 5k splits are near identical. Mine were 24:40, 24:21, 24:44, 24:45, 25:04, 26:02, 27:39, 29:47.
Carl: If its any consolation for you (probably not) that was my 4th marathon. The first 3 went as follows.
Oct 12: Hull marathon 4:17. stomach cramps at 15 after trying out gels for the 1st time race day, also had no garmin or mile markers, completely lost the plot pace wise. The most shambolic race i've ever run,
April 13: Liverpool marathon. 4:19, hit a wall at 20 miles and then took 1:20 to run / walk the last 10k. Gutted with myself.
Oct 13: York Marathon. 3:56 prepared solidly for this one, got the miles in and ate healthy / didnt drink alcohol for 5 weeks before hand. Raceday, something just didn't feel right and it took me ages to settle. Then at 15 miles (again) I started losing power in my legs, and had an almighty struggle for the next 11, where I think my final 2 miles were run at 11 min mile pace!! Happy at the sub 4 but I knew I was better then this.
London Marathon. Everything felt right, settled straight away and running was smooth. Very happy at the 3:39, but due to the cramping, I know i'm good for a sub 3:30. I don't know whether this will be an autumn marathon just yet, but certainly if I can get into London again ill be back for the sub 3:30.
Anyway, what i'm trying to say is a marathon is such a huge distance and you could argue that for amateur runners like us, you need a lot of factors and sheer luck on the day to go right for you come the startline. Yesterday that happened for me at the 4th time of trying. Enter Chicago Carl, and get all over it making that 'your marathon'. I reckon you're good for a sub 3:30 also as you're the king of the track.
Ricky: I was drinking at least 2.5 litres a day the week before, however I think I may not have drank enough on race morning if i'm honest. I was getting on board a third to half of the 250 ml watters they were handing out every mile (learnt my lessons from the east Hull 20 a few weeks ago), but I guess the heat and my constant workrate meant that the cramps crept in at the later stages. Just one of those things I guess, and the only time I had them before like that was the last 100m of the York Marathon. I think overall it has probably cost me at least 5 -10 miles from my time, but i'm still over the moon at the 3:39 anyhow. At least it means I have a quite beatable target to work towards next.
800m to go, and the cramps were a constant, and probably needed stretching. I couldnt stop though, this was it.
400m to go and the chicken gets a burst on. No way. I not getting beaten by a chicken, I speed up and have a huge spasm in my leg. Ok the chicken can win.
50 m to go, I see my girlfriend in the grandstand, I lose all control over my calves, and start to hop / skip towards the line.
20m to go, someone is actually crawling towards the line and shaking off a first aider as he wanted to do it alone (Carter was that you?)
I cross the line in 3:39.51, and ive done it, I was elated I smashed my previous Pb of 3:56, slightly dissapointed I didnt get the 3:30 I was on for, but wasnt too harsh on myself as the cramps killed me for 6 miles. At this point I notice my entire left side of my shirt is covered in blood and I appear to have ruptured a nipple. Whoops. average splits were 8:17 per mile, really happy with that.
Overall, a fantastic race, and I would say firmly my favourite race thus far. The organisation was second to none, and the crowds were immense. I suspect I wont see anything like that again unless I run London again.
Im going to leave out an Autum marathon for now, and focus on getting a sub 40 10k, but a spring marathon is on the cards again, and the sub 3:30 is the goal.